Scouts take on Blue Peter climate change challenge

A group of Scouts standing in front of a recycling collection truck.
The Scouts show off their globe artwork (covered in crisp packets) in front of a SUEZ recycling collection truck.

Stoke Gifford’s Old School Room (OSR) Scouts have recently taken part in the Blue Peter ‘Climate Heroes’ challenge, which asked young people to become a ‘green-army’ to help tackle carbon emissions and climate change.

The challenge required individual participants to pledge to reduce their plastic use, save energy and plant pollinating plants, all for at least two weeks. Collectively, the Scouts also had to create an environment-related piece of artwork.

Fifteen OSR scouts signed up for the challenge and decided during a Zoom session (prior to easing of coronavirus restrictions) to make a giant globe from papier-mâché and cover it in green and blue crisp packets.

Crisp packets need specialist recycling and are not accepted by SUEZ, the firm which does the weekly kerbside collections of waste and recycling in South Gloucestershire. However, they can be dropped off for recycling at any of a network public collection points that have been set up as part of the TerraCycle scheme, such as the one at SGS College Wise Campus in New Road, Stoke Gifford.

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Globe artwork

A few weeks later and the team had been split into two sub-teams to build the super pledge! Team 1 covered the 40” natural rubber balloon in papier-mâché and a week later Team 2 covered the globe in green crisp bags for the land masses and blue crisp bags for the seas and oceans.

The whole team had two weeks to fulfil their pledges and once the globe was completed, their entry was submitted to Blue Peter. If successful, the 15 Scouts will each receive a green Blue Peter badge and a special Climate Heroes certificate.

In addition, the team wanted a picture of them all holding their globe artwork with a recycling truck in the background, so they contacted SUEZ in Yate and Andy the Contract Compliance Officer jumped at the chance to be involved as the company is trying to get the message out to South Gloucestershire residents that crisp packets and other thin plastics are not as yet recyclable through their weekly collections. It was great news that they were more than happy to help support the Scouts.

During half-term, the team held a litter pick around Stoke Gifford collecting three bin bags full of rubbish from the parks. This counted towards a so-called supersized pledge that needed to be completed by the whole group.

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Power saving

The Scouts have reduced their time on games and computers by switching off consoles instead of putting them in standby mode. The return to face-to-face Scouting helped with this as it meant they no longer needed to do their 80-minute weekly Zoom sessions. They also had to try meals with no red meat, dairy or fish, use multi-use water bottles instead of throwaway plastic and plant hanging baskets or planters full of pollinating flowers to attract bees and butterflies.

With their pledges now completed and their group artwork submitted, the Scouts are now waiting to hear if their efforts are deemed worthy of a prestigious Blue Peter green badge.

UPDATE: As we went to press, we heard that the Scouts had been successful and had been sent a batch of Blue Peter green badges (made from recycled yoghurt pots), entitling each holder to free entry to over 200 attractions in the UK!

Photo of a certificate and badges.
Blue Peter ‘Climate Heroes’ certificate and badges earned by the Old School Rooms troop of 1st Stoke Gifford Scouts.

Related link: 1st Stoke Gifford Scout Group

This article originally appeared in the July/August 2021 issue of the Stoke Gifford Journal magazine (on page 29). The magazine is delivered FREE, nine times a year, to over 5,000 homes in Stoke Gifford, Little Stoke and Harry Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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